As temperatures drop and winter sets in, crews are bundling up to continue the extensive masonry work Union Terminal needs. If the exterior of the building looks a little brighter it’s the result of the application of a non-acidic liquid cleaner to remove grime and biological growth from the limestone and brick. After the cleaner was applied, it was gently rinsed off using a power washer at low pressure to prevent damage to the historic masonry. Over the month, crews will monitor and address areas that need further cleaning. Here’s a look at what else you can expect this month.
1. The windows on the face of Union Terminal’s half dome will begin to be removed for extensive cleaning and repairs. Painted plywood will temporarily replace the windows while the glass and metal frames are thoroughly cleaned.
2. Crews are continuing to remove nearly 6 ½ miles of caulking and cleaning out the joints between limestone blocks and bricks across the exterior of Union Terminal. They are also beginning to fill those joints with mortar that most closely matches the color and makeup of the original mortar used on the building.
3. Scaffolding now crisscrosses the north and south curved drum walls on the rear of Union Terminal, allowing crews to carefully remove and repair the exterior bricks. With those bricks removed, damaged steel will be cleaned and treated and steps will be taken to waterproof the walls against future water damage.
4. Demolition of interior spaces continues on the concourse level of the building, including restrooms, retail space and the Reakirt Auditorium. Those spaces will be redesigned to create a more robust guest experience.
5. The ice tanks that were formerly part of the building’s air conditioning system have been removed from the south mechanical yard in the rear of the building. Outdated systems will continue to be removed from the mechanical yard before a new foundation is prepared for the installation of new systems.
Number to know: 65 – Each of the nearly 200 glass louver panels that ring the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum weighs 65 pounds apiece and is an inch thick. That’s over 13,000 pounds of glass louvers to be cleaned, repaired and replaced!
If you’d like to receive email updates about the repair and restoration of Union Terminal, please sign up here.